In The News
Local News Anchor's Response to a Bullying Email About Her Weight
A YouTube clip of Wisconsin local news anchor, Jennifer Livingston responding to a viewer’s email that criticizes her weight is going viral this week, and it's no surprise why. In his email, the writer suggests that Livingston's obesity makes her an unsuitable role model for young people in her community.
The email did not end up in the trash bin, but on-air when the anchor read the email out loud and [very candidly] expressed the pain and embarrassment she felt. She used this experience to highlight the fact that October is Bullying Awareness Month. Watch the clip below:
Childhood obesity is a major issue in this country, there is no denying it. But so is bullying. And bullying-behavior is not the solution to these problems. Jennifer's decision to speak up and share her experience publically gives us a new opportunity to start the conversation with our own children. What does it feel like to experience being bullied based on our appearances. And why do we feel compelled to bully others?
I spent what felt like my entire junior year of high school hiding out in the girls' bathroom because I was tormented by a classmate who sat two seats down from me in Spanish class. She expressed a strong disdain for me, the curvy girl who was dating a boy she had a crush on. I was 16 years old, maybe ten or fifteen pounds over the average weight of my peers. I was scared, upset and felt very alone. I was too afraid and ashamed to talk to anyone, including my parents. If I had a time machine, I would go back to that day in 1994 and tell my teenage self that I don't need to hide. That it's okay for me to stand up for myself and there are many friends, teachers and family members who will not make fun of me, but they have my back.
What do you think about Jennifer Livingston's on-air response? How are you addressing the subject of bullying in your home?